* Posts by MrT

1293 posts • joined 9 Oct 2007

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Twitter's 280-char blog mode can be enabled client-side. Just sayin'

MrT
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I remember when...

...twttr first started letting us use vowels - doubled message length right there. Then folk got sloppy and started, y'know, using punctuation, full sentences and suchlike. Youngsters today don't know the 'alf of it; you try and tell young people today that... and they won't believe yer.

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Downloaded CCleaner lately? Oo, awks... it was stuffed with malware

MrT
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At least using a lever (levver) makes it sound a bit like hard work. I'm still waiting to see 'synergy' pop up in the follow-up press releases...

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MrT
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File size...

... CCleaner is just returning to a file size nearer to what it used to have - 5.27, for example, is 8.83MB (I've a copy here) which is only 552KB smaller than the latest one.

Interesting point about the Credential Manager listings - although a lot of the system credentials (OneDrive, Office16, Windows Live and the associated 'virtualapp/didlogical' one, etc.) don't help here, with their random username field - they do look suspicious, especially that virtualapp one. This PC is a 32-bit Win7 system, with CCleaner installed (although it logs in as a limited user instead of admin), and there's are no odd users created recently - the OneDrive ones and the virtualapp one refresh each login.

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MrT
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Re: Any invasion checking

In a moment of clarity, I thought it might be a disgruntled employee who objected to the takeover by Avast, since it seems like an inside job. From the blog posting on Piriform, it reads as if the malware hasn't fully activated - yet - and seems to be defanged for now.

On a side note, it's interesting to see how different malware suites squabble on over everyone else being PUPs or suspicious - ZoneAlarm Extreme Security installs PC Tuneup, which Malwarebytes flags up as PUP, then anything by Iobit gets the warning from MWB, so much so that they have told users to expect and ignore the "we're doomed!" messages.

Maybe one of them will hurry up and release a clean-up tool for this. Since it's gone from Cisco Talos telling us to nuke everything earlier on, to Piriform now telling us to calm down a bit because it's being tackled, maybe it'll all turn out okay without all the headless chicken impressions.

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Everyone loves programming in Python! You disagree? But it's the fastest growing, says Stack Overflow

MrT
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Back when I was at school, BASIC was the learner's starting point - not perfect, but you've got to start somewhere and variants of that were becoming the default built-in language of the more readily available computers. I preferred Pascal, then Delphi, but I've always recommended folk bet against me if they want guaranteed success... ;-)

These days, there's more choice, but learners still start with one or two from a smallish choice - Python's one of those (we use it on a VM where I teach). That boost could also be down to a rise in Computing Science numbers in schools, as well as coding clubs like CoderDojo and the like. More driven learners ask questions and find things out for themselves, and if that's at SO, then there's another reason...

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She's arrived! HMS Queen Lizzie enters Portsmouth Naval Base

MrT
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Re: Fine photo

Friend of a friend on Facebook posted this one down in Gosport as HMS QE passed the the Spinnaker Tower - larger version here... It nicely shows the five Merlins on deck.

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HMS Queen Lizzie impugned by cheeky Scot's drone landing

MrT
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Weaponised drones...

... looks like we do have something to fly from HMS DC QE after all. A swarm of grenade-toting drones or one F35B??

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Microsoft's Surface Pro 2017, unhinged: Luxury fondleslab that's good...

MrT
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Re: Surface Dial...

Thanks. I've seen the Dial working off-screen/on-desk with other Surface devices, but it was the on-screen use that particularly caught her eye. I've dug about a bit more and see that MS is saying "Studio and latest Pro" for the on-screen stuff, so I'll take that as a 'yes' for this 2017 one. It must only be a new addition because it's not that easy to track down in other reviews, which only mention Surface Studio.

Cheers!

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MrT
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Surface Dial...

Is this the one that works with the Dial on screen, like the Surface Studio? MrsT is an artist, and watching the MS videos demonstrating the Dial on the Studio was the first time in basically forever that she was genuinely interested in the way that tech worked...

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Watch this nanochip reprogram cells to fix damaged body tissue

MrT
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Re: "Two more todgers, you say? Tell me - how do your trousers fit?"

Quite well indeed, almost like a glove.

I'd mention Jake The Peg, but that might take things a bit too far...

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MrT
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Re: Another couple of todgers...

Two more todgers, you say? Tell me - how do your trousers fit?

Please provide your answers in the space below. Form an orderly queue - no pushing or shoving, thank you.

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Parents claim Disney gobbled up kids' info through mobile games

MrT
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Sounds like shades of Club Penguin...

Didn't Disney get burned by that one already? Or was that before they bought it and gave it a light rinse in the Bath of Acceptability™ ? Still, it could be worse - it could be Movie Star Planet...

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Brit uni builds its own supercomputer from secondhand parts

MrT
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Funded by the STFC...?

Ooh, so close...

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Space Duck 2.0 is New Horizons' next destination

MrT
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"It's one rock, with a mighty chunk nibbled out somehow"

Giant star-goats will eat anything - keep your eyes open for invading twelve-foot piranha bees...

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Facebook pulls plug on language-inventing chatbots? THE TRUTH

MrT
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Re: "Natural language does not emerge naturally"

Natural languages have plenty of rules (meanings, structure, etc.) that have been accepted by their users. Even if the meanings of words evolve over time, it's within an underlying framework.

Starting from a blank state and expecting machines to develop all that complexity to produce something that reads like Austen or Wilde is too much to ask. In the old infinite monkeys and typewriters thing, they're not starting blank, but will have a societal hierarchy so that the opinion of one outweighs the rest. AIs don't even have that, so will spend a lot of time babbling on trying to establish the rules of engagement, so to speak.

However, what the tabloid fuss fails to understand is that there may have been a real symbolic sub-code emerging and task information was being processed. If meta showed that one of the AIs was leading choices of words in the other, so they were deferring and showed understanding, then that's far more interesting. But it's also beyond the level of tabloid sensationalism and the "headline-soundbite" clickbait model they use.

OTOH it could have just been totally random, heading nowhere, and a waste of electrons.

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Breathless F-35 pilots to get oxygen boost via algorithm tweak

MrT
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Re: You'd hope they are hackable...

How hackable, though?

Remember turning on autocorrect in Word on a computer left logged on and unlocked at work, then setting it to replace "the" with "you suck"**? Swap 'Word' for 'F35A/B/C', 'the' for 'Countermeasures_Button", and "you suck"** with "SET: Fuel_Dump=1: MODE: immediate; VAL: 100%; CONFIRM: Y"...

** other phrases are available

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Reg reader turns Geek's Guides to Britain into Geek's Map of Britain

MrT
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Re: I agree

Whilst up in York visiting the bunker, pop to Yorkshire Air Museum. One of my near neighbours piloted the Nimrod there (XV250) and was made an MBE for 'over the horizon' surveillance missions during the Falklands conflict.

Or come a bit further for something a bit more grease-monkey-ish at NELSAM...

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Dump X of your crew, DXC Technologies UK told. Hundreds face axe again

MrT
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Re: So when are they going to merge with IBM?

Leveraged across all technology platforms? Jolly good, carry on...

;-)

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Radiohead hides ZX Spectrum proggie in OK Computer re-release

MrT
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That tune brings back memories...

...especially that section in the video from 1:21 to 1:25 - absolute classic Radiohead...

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Eggheads identify the last animal that will survive on Earth until the Sun dies

MrT
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Things move...

"Dwarf planets like Pluto and Eris might be able to, but are too far away to be a threat." For now...

Apparently, things in the solar system got very crashtastic for a while as Jupiter spiralled inwards in the very early stages, before being flung out to where it is now by Saturn. It's one of the reasons that there are two bands in the asteroid belt, one rocky and the other icy. Horizon (DailyMotion link).

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MrT
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Mushroom

I'm not going to pass any comment until someone has sorted out a bowl of 1000 brown M&Ms.

I will therefore defer to the wisdom and greater understanding of Del Preston in these matters...

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Openreach kicks off 'rebrand' by painting over BT logo on vans

MrT
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Four years to change the logo...?

Ah, it must be an in-house team of crack Openreach logo technicians doing the job. The first two tries will be utterly rubbish, then they'll get it right on the third attempt.

Plus ça change, I suppose.

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Smart burglars will ride the surf of inter-connected hackability

MrT
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Re: I can imagine the fun of hacking one...

... or have it make squeaks, beeps and whistles, then get ready for a "living statue" artist in a gold suit awkwardly following it around apologising to sir/madam/General/Master Luke for its bad language.

Do the same again for three days, then on the fourth day paint one of the performer's arms red in an obvious attempt at refreshing the merchandise line, and carry on as before. No-one need ask about what happened before this unlikely pair were first noticed...

If the artist can't be bothered, replace with a gold ASIMO, or if funding's tight, one of those Pepper robots instead.

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Amazon granted patent to put parachutes inside shipping labels

MrT
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Re: It is at this point worth noting that a patent is a long way from a finished product,

The 'Your Amazon' home page may have a new section, though...

"Because you have had goods airdropped by drone delivery service:" followed by a line of things like Neurofen, bandages, witch hazel, ice packs, arnica, etc...

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MrT
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Re: It would work if..

... there was some way to embed an anchor point sensor into logos from Nickleson, McKenzie, Schott, Fubu, Eto, No Fear, Carbrini, Paul's Boutique, Superdry, Lonsdale, etc. IoT - Internet of Targets. It might clear the streets a bit, but one of the downsides​ is that all deliveries made this way would end up sat outside the nearest Sports Direct store...

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MrT
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Re: One of the things you can't do in the UK

Books might be heavy, but sit at the more friendly end of Amazon's freefall ordnance catalogue. Back to WW1 with a nice box of lawn darts...?

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Seminal game 'Colossal Cave Adventure' released onto GitLab

MrT
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Typing listings in - blimey, that dates us all... That book used to be available on World of Spectrum, but can now be found here. I had a copy ages ago - the cover art was just bizarre.

I've a boxset of the old Infocom text adventures - I'll raise your Zork with a Leather Goddesses of Phobos (nice to see that one sneak into a scene on The Martian)

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Japanese researchers spin up toilet paper gyroscopes for science

MrT
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Cats...

... That's a good point - I doubt feline-related variations have been factored into all this.

1-2 sheets : tiddle

R(s) sheets, where R is the remaining sheets on the roll, and s is the likelihood that the roll is almost full before the incident (scaled from 1 to 0) : Tiddles

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Try not to scream: Ads are coming to Amazon's Alexa – and VR goggles

MrT
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"OK, you can scream now..."

Careful, now - the other day I had a bit of a coughing fit: my phone thought it sounded enough like "OK Google" to launch a voice search. What it searched for was gibberish, and none of the results included "cough sweets" of any sort...

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Android O-mg. Google won't kill screen hijack nasties on Android 6, 7 until the summer

MrT
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For a clearer view...

... go to the image's regmedia link and remove the crop and size tags:

https://regmedia.co.uk/2017/05/09/marshmallow_shutterstock.jpg

Marshmallows cooked by the Chef from South Park, maybe?

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US copyright law shake-up: Days of flinging stuff on the web and waiting for a DMCA may be over

MrT
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Partial moderation/approval...

"Instead, if this becomes accepted law, companies would have to consider what their moderation policies are and whether they need tightening. It is likely that this would only impact sites that don't allow any content to go up unless they are approved, but even so, it would be a significant shift in the law."

Where would that leave sites where some parts are moderated/approved, and others parts are not...? Especially if it's not obvious which part is which until a post is made, and even then only the person posting can see the "awaiting approval" notification.

;-)

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Huawei used cheap-as-chips chips in some P10s, now buyers want to boil it in oil

MrT
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Re: We're Listening™

© NSA, used with permission

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40,000 Tinder pics scraped into big data service

MrT
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Spear & Jackson no.3...

It's a Ripping Yarn, sho nuff, but it seems 'Stuart Colianni' is a pseudonym; his real name is Eric Olthwaite, allegedly, and he's clearly a misguided fan of gardening tools...

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Another career suicide as reporter leaves The Register for broadcaster

MrT
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Move #1...

... in the ElReg annexation of News International.

Phase two will be signalled by the key word "boffin" being read out by Sky Newscasters, and the introduction of 'linguini' and 'brontosaurus' in any story that requires accurate dimensions to be conveyed. Steer clear of introducing the ones about volume for now...

Fare thee well!

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Software woes keep NASA's new crewed missions grounded

MrT
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"Tell me this isn't a government operation."

Sounds like a square canister into round hole problem all over again...

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(You can't) buy one now! The flying car makes its perennial return

MrT
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"... I have no interest in childish double-entendres." ... - A. Dabbs, Esq., 14/4/17

Normal service has been resumed. Rumours of an airborne snatch squad descending on unsuspecting pedestrians walking stifly along between gym and newsagent have been greatly exaggerated...

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Wait – we can explain, says Moby, er, Docker amid rebrand meltdown

MrT
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Re: Moby

I'm not worried at all, one of these mornings if the rebrand all goes wrong they will look back in and say "At least we tried..."

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Game authors demand missing ZX Spectrum reboot royalties

MrT
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Re: I'm confused

That's what happened with some of the software I wrote back then (Speccy and QL). Eventually they've all ended up as freeware, some earlier than others, always by agreement with the publishers.

In one case I wrote a program out of personal interest, and could have made much more by publishing it in a series of articles. However, it caught the eye of one publisher and so I worked with a couple of people to release it for sale. The profits were never the aim, and whatever was generated, even up to as late as last year, was offered to me if I should choose, or could go to a charity (changed from time to time by the publisher - the last one was UNICEF). On the 30th anniversary of the publisher bring in business, we agreed to retire that last title to freeware.

None of what I wrote would have been included on the Vega or Vega+, (they weren't games), but permission should always be sought where possible - I was always asked before anything happened and can understand why those affected by this would be annoyed, even if they only wanted to see evidence of their contribution to a charity.

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Switch on your smartphone camera and look how fertile I am

MrT
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Too big to flush...

The Man Who Knew Too Little

Hawkins: Spencer, did you flush?

Wallace: I think she's going to do that. Don't you, pal? I'll ask her. Lori!

Hawkins: [quietly to Daggenhurst] He's taking to her!

Roger: She's still in the bowl?

Hawkins: Maybe he tried to flush her, but she floated back up!

Roger: Tell him to flush her! Spencer knows how to deal with floaters.

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MrT
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".. I have no interest in childish double-entendres."

Come again...?

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Troll it your way: Burger King ad tries to hijack Google Home gadgets

MrT
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Re: Shout through the letterbox

You forgot to confirm the order with "Yes! Yes!! YES!!!" ...

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Microsoft's new hardware: eight x86 cores, 40 GPU cores

MrT
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Re: Sorry to be pedantic but...

... chickens the size of oxen might be useful, if a tad unruly...

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It's 30 years ago: IBM's final battle with reality

MrT
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Re: succesful standard

And the PS/2 port for mice/keyboards.

The Model M keyboard set a high standard that many modern items still struggle to beat...

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Head of US military kit-testing slams F-35, says it's scarcely fit to fly

MrT
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Hang on...

... F-35A and F-35C are having problems not burning up, so that's a rare plus point for the B. Frying pans - who knew?!

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Reg now behind invisible HTML5 Bitcoin paywall

MrT
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Nice one, Team Reg...

Has anybody seen my chameleon? It wandered over this article, made an odd clicking noise, and now I can't find it anywhere...

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Pirate of the Caribbean to play Hacker of the Caribbean

MrT
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Quick...

... add Idris Elba or Wesley Snipes to the list. Or Whoopi Goldberg...

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US Customs sued for information about border phone searches

MrT
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Re: JD...

... "shower shorts!" Season 3 - nicely remembered :-)

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

MrT
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Re: Progress bar lies

Some that use a clock end up guessing then adding more time (for example, deleting a snapshot on a VM, which I see more on VirtualBox than others, but YMMV).

Others equate number of files copied as equivalent to percentage complete, regardless of size of the file, or other associated housekeeping that needs doing, so the progress bar goes in fits and starts (punctuated by long stops).

Then there are ones that split up the install into 'initialise', 'copy files', 'install files', 'configure system', 'post process cleaning', 'removing backups', etc., each step with a run-through of a full 100% progress bar.

And those that reckon to offer a /q "silent" install, but still wait for occasional confirmation key presses, usually at 20% through a 2 hour process that you walked away from after 10 minutes, but didn't notice for an hour or so.

Too many different ways for software to give me the irrits, TBH. Impatience sucks like a limpet on a lemon...

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Spotted: Bizarre SpaceX rocket-snatching machine that looks like it belongs on Robot Wars

MrT
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"Alexa, lock the doors...

"...and then vacuum the landing pad."

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Norfolk County Council sent filing cabinet filled with kids' info to a second-hand shop

MrT
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Norfolk County Council...

... are almost permanently featured somewhere in Private Eye. Child 'M', foster carer fiasco, Children's Services rated inadequate, winning the Eye's 'Whitewash Award for Local Government' in 2015, etc. They've a reputation of burying the truth and protecting NCC officials, so don't expect anyone to be named as responsible for this latest dropped bollock any time soon, if at all.

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